Spanish Bayonet - Bear Grass / Yucca Plant
Yucca aloifolia - Linnaeus
Agavaceae [=Amaryllidaceae] (Agave) Family


Spanish Bayonet is also known as Ear-Grass, Yucca and Adams' Needle.

Plant is an upright, smooth perennial with an underground stem from which new growth emerges. Preferred habitat is rocky slopes, dry places, savannas, and pine woods, but it is known to exist on moist slopes as well. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are mostly at ground level (basal); lance-like, sharply pointed, up to 24 inches long with a few curly fibers along the leaf margin; no teeth and no lobes; reduced in size upward.

Flowers are in a panicle at the tip of a long scape; creamy white, bell-shaped and about 2 inches long. Each flower has a single green gland (which may be absent occasionally). Flowers occur in late spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

While the plant is not considered endangered or threatened it generally does not produce fertile fruit due to the absence of the yucca moth; which is needed to achieve pollination. Most yucca plants have emerged from root growth. Other varieties found on the Coastal Plain are Y. louisianensis, Y. treculeana, Y. aloifolia and Y. smallii. Except for louisianensis, all are known to be widespread. The synonym Y. filamentosa also applies to this plant. Bear Grass is the state flower of New Mexico.


Spanish Bayonet, Y. aloifolia

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